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Tech boost for frontline workers: How IBM is helping ICMR to manage process of capturing COVID-19 data

The Watson virtual agent is AI-enabled and will be able to understand and respond to queries in English and Hindi.

The virtual agent has been deployed on protected pages of the ICMR website that can be accessed only by authorised personnel who are involved with sample collection and testing in hospitals and diagnostic labs.

 

The virtual agent has been deployed on protected pages of the ICMR website that can be accessed only by authorised personnel who are involved with sample collection and testing in hospitals and diagnostic labs.

Technology continues to play a significant role in India’s fight against Covid-19. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has collaborated with IBM to implement a Watson virtual agent (called Watson Assistant) on its portal to respond to specific queries of frontline staff and data entry operators from various testing and diagnostic facilities across the country on coronavirus pandemic.

The virtual agent has been deployed on protected pages of the ICMR website that can be accessed only by authorised personnel who are involved with sample collection and testing in hospitals and diagnostic labs. The queries could be related to nature and process of data to be captured by test labs, how to record inventory of test kits and reagents, process of reporting to government agencies and references to the latest guidance, in addition to responding to queries on Covid-19 in general.

Balram Bhargava, director general, ICMR said, “With the number of on-field testing teams expanding across the nation as part of India’s Covid-19 measures, this collaboration with IBM will help automate responses from the field and facilitate access to accurate and updated data on Covid-19 diagnostics and reporting. This will help augment our teams’ response time and allow them to concentrate on priorities like developing and updating testing and treatment protocols and guidance for Covid-19.”

Sandip Patel, general manager, IBM India/South Asia said, “As India rises to meet the challenge of Covid-19, it is crucial to enable government bodies such as ICMR to utilise data and capabilities effectively for rapid detection and treatment. This collaboration is GoodTech in action and a testament to IBM’s commitment of enabling governments, businesses and citizens across the globe to have access to our technology and expertise in tackling the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic.”

The Watson virtual agent is AI-enabled and will be able to understand and respond to queries in English and Hindi, from approved testing facilities for Covid-19 at scale, around the clock in a uniform and timely manner, as per the latest guidelines.

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